Welcome to my eclectic journey of my life and delights. This year my theme is surrendering my writing pen to the true author, Jesus Christ, while looking forward to the future, reflecting on the past and dancing through my journey.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pumpkin Bread Detour

I am not a person who enjoys my course of action to be re-directed.  I love to see things stay on course, but of course, life doesn't work that way.  I am sure God just laughed when I married my husband, knowing that my husband would thrive in detours, while I would become frustrated.

So after I posted "Won't You Be My Neighbor" and had a vision to reach out to our new neighbors....then came the DETOUR!!  Our son broke his leg and my course was temporarily sidelined in order to serve my little man.

God, on the other hand, wasn't frustrated with my detour... He was guiding the path.

I had prayed a selfish prayer that our new neighbor would have a son for my high school son to play with.  After my re-energized vision to reach out, I began to pray for my new neighbors.  Their arrival came over a few weeks.  One day, the grandmother stopped me to let me know her daughter was moving into the house.  Parts of the story unfolded.  She was a single mom and the family had gone through some big adjustments.  Now I had even more to take before the Lord.

So while my cast boy was healing, God was preparing.  With increased freedom, I made a batch of pumpkin bread and became ready to welcome the family to our neighborhood.  The family arrived with a teenage boy, who loves baseball.  While my house was empty, I took the bread in hand, prayed over my steps and strolled next door.

The woman received me with open arms as I handed her the pumpkin bread.  As I stood on her front porch she began to unfold her story.  Through smiles and an uplifted voice, while fighting back tears at different points in her story, I was able empathize.  Her marriage of 19 years had come to a very ugly end and she was now going through drastic downsizing.  Where she had only worked part time, her new journey requires full time.  Her mother helps since her job takes her out of town for multiple days in a row.

Many of the lines of her story were similar to mine.  The downsizing meant getting rid of items and leaving behind extras not found in a rent home. For her, she is missing her swimming pool and I miss my trees.  We both laughed about how much we really didn't need.  She is giving up her three Christmas trees.

We both smiled at each other with "that is life" and you could hear the determination to go forward.  She let me know they were going to be around for the evening to visit some more. There was a moment to share where we go to church and invite them to join us. What I felt was a "detour" was instead God's perfect timing.  When will I learn that His timing is always right?

This will require an investment of my time in order to cultivate this relationship. I came away THANKING  God that I now had life experiences that could relate with hers.  I look forward to being able to share my Christ as the healer, as I first embrace her as a friend.  I was convicted...everyone has a story to tell, but have I taken the time to listen.

"Do you not say, 'There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest."Already he who reaps is receiving wages and is gathering fruit for life eternal; so that he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. "For in this case the saying is true, 'One sows and another reaps.'  I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored and you have entered into their labor."John 1:35-38

I hope you can look up from what you may feel is a detour and see that God knows the path ahead....and maybe, just maybe, the perceived "detour" is  instead His perfect path. Now I need to go make some more bread, there is another neighbor I need to meet!

27 Joining in with more words:

Paula said...

Great post! I love hearing God stories like this one. Thank you for your prayers for Todd. Hope your little man is healing well and that God blesses your new found friendships.

Anonymous said...

Yes, love this post. We never know what God has for our plan and sometimes it sure takes us by surprise.

Debbie said...

Oh Janette I LOVE this post and these reminders. Your soo right of course. God's timing and course is always soo much better than "our" plans. I needed to hear this today. I am having SUCH a hard time with my knees and I keep thinking, "Lord, HOW is it that you want me to do anything at all for You when I can hardly move around?" But the answer is obvious I am thinking. He alone has it ALL planned out. There are no mistakes, and He will show me what and where. I am thinking how wonderful it would be to be your neighbor...Hope cast boy is doing well...time seems to be flying by over here. Hope it is for him too. Have a good day. HUGS. Debbie

Farm Girl said...

Well that is just lovely and I would wish that if I moved in your neighborhood, I would open the door and you would be my neighbor. :) So Sweet and I know that you will be such a blessing to that lady and I know that God will bring good out of it for both of you. What amazes me is that you are bit ahead of her in her trial. You can comfort her because of the comfort you have received. I love this post and it blesses me to see that God's detours are always the best.
Blessings today Janette.

Sandy said...

I loved reading this, Janette.
God's timing is always perfect.
He is using you to bring comfort
to your new neighbor. Our trials
and tests are never without a
purpose. If I can encourage just
one person to look to Jesus then
my heart is in turn lifted up.

Unknown said...

First off, I love pumpkin bread! Yummy-about this time of year I start making it and keep making it through January. Second, you are just so sweet and so open to God's leading-it does my heart good to read your posts. It also reminds me that in the next year or so both of my neighbor's houses will probably be for sale since the neighbor ladies that live there have both become ill and so I need to start praying that whom ever God leads into those houses I would be a witness to them. I need to remember to make some bread too! smile I am praying it will be someone with kids too just because we have none on our street and it would be nice to have kids to play with mine.
I hope that your son's break is healing well and that things will return to normal soon for your-whatever that is right?! lol We spent our summer like that-broken arm for Brandon while still healing from his hip surgery he was so bummed-it was a long, hard summer for us all. It kept us all home with not too much to do until we got to go last minute to the beach-but the quiet time was good for us too.
Hope you have a wonderful day-I will be praying over this new relationship with this neighbor and that God will lead, guide and direct your steps with her.
Hope you have a wonderful day!

Simple Home said...

I loved this too Janette. God's timing is not ours, but His is always best. I'll pray that your neighbor will be receptive to the Lord.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the loaf of pumpkin bread you sent my way, too. We gobbled it all up! Thanks for the reminder that our detours are often when God is at work.

Talk to you soon,


Debbie Petras said...

Janette, can I be your neighbor? :)

I'm so pleased to hear how God is at work in the midst of your circumstances. I just know that you are the perfect neighbor for this woman. And yes, your recent experiences allow you to truly empathize in many genuine ways.

Thank you for sharing about the detours. I believe they are actually Divine appointments God has for you. The question is: will we be open to hearing His still small voice so we don't miss out on them?

I know you won't miss them, especially as you're home with Cast Boy. I hope you don't mind my referring to that sweet boy like that too.

You are such an encouragement to me.

Love you,

http://bitsandpieces-sonja.blogspot.com/ said...

There is nothing more precious than meeting up with soeone who shares similar life experiences, and you immediately relate to. That plus the pumpking bread... you're going to be BFF's.... :)

I love this willingness in your heart, it shines brightly!

Anonymous said...


This was not only a good story, but an encouraging one.

I've always thought of detours as "annoying," because like you mentioned in the begining part of your story, it means that you don't get to go the way that you wanted to go. However, it's not about which way we want to go, but the way God wants us to go.

This is a lesson that I think all of us Christians struggle with, as well as an area we will continue to learn and grow.


-Lady Rose

Sydney said...

All of our days were written in His book and planned before a single one of them began. What a blessing that you can shine the light of Christ and that it may serve as a beacon of hope for your neighbor.

God bless you:)

Val said...

Just found your blog and I very much enjoyed this post. I am the sort who always wants to know what comes next, and has plenty of plans. Thankfully, God knows what is best, and arranges things as He, not I, see fit! Looking back, I am so thankful for his loving direction and continued watchfullness....his plans are so much better than mine!

Gwen T said...

Ah, yes, the detour. On that detour right now - but like you said, it really is God's plan. What a great perspective.

Prov. 16:9 - The mind of man plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.

Theresa said...

Love your post. You are such a sweet neighbor, even here in blogland!

myletterstoemily said...

hi janette!

what a wonderful story you have shared!
your neighbor is so blessed to have you.

the scripture is what i pondered in my
heart on the way home from brazil. i
feel like i am sowing my most precious
'seed' (my children) all over the world.

you are sowing pumpkin seeds. :)

thank you for your sweet encouragement.


Susannah said...

Your neighbor has no idea how blessed she is to know you... her story sounds so very sad. You will be just the person she needs to help get her launched into a new life. God knows! ღ

Stacy@hiswaynotmine said...

Oh Janette, His way is perfect, isn't it! And you were obedient to His call. He is so good. Thank you so much for encouraging my heart and reminding me that He has all of our steps directed, if we would just humbly walk in His path. May God continue to use you in the life of this new family.
Much love,

Anonymous said...

This is a wonderful post. Janette, I am so glad you visited my blog, so I could find yours and follow you!

Anita K said...

I am new to reading your blog but feel we could be best friends. God's timing is the best but such a hard lesson at times. Blessings to you.

gianna said...

Wow! She opened up quickly to you! That's awesome!
And the pumpkin bread sounds AWESOME!
I hope your son is feeling better soon!

Farming On Faith said...

I was so blessed by this post. It is so true our best laid plans should always come second to God's leading.
What a great friend I know you will be to your sweet neighbor.
Have a wonderful day!

Amy said...

Janette: Thank you for coming over and posting such wonderful, sweet comments. Our boys will probably never be in the news about their sports either, but that is ok. Every kind comment we get about them about how they love the Lord or help other people is music to our ears as I am sure to you too about your boys. Every day as Wes drives off I tell him to be a leader and remember "who's" he is.Being in sports of wonderful but is for nothing if our focus in not on Jesus. Enjoy so much getting to know you! Blessings on your day! Amy

Anonymous said...

I have been seeing your comments on blogs I visit and am so glad I came by to visit your blog. What an inspiring post. My neighbor just recently married and she is about 8 years younger. My experiences with trusting God through the sickness and passing of my parents is helping me to share with her. A few days back, I posted our outing: To Grandmother's House We Go. I look forward to following you. Have a great evening.

A multi-dimensional life said...

So well said, Janette!
I loved your detour story! Sometimes I think life is one big detour :)...so many things I've started with my own plan in mind have resulted in detours,then evolved into even more meaningful experiences and more richness and fullness than my plan ever could have accomplished! Sometimes, just taking that time to listen is the greatest blessing. I am so glad I stopped by today...I need to take the time...I need to listen with my whole heart! You are a great example of what a neighbor should be!

Lea @ CiCis Corner said...

Oh, I think we all want to be your neighbor!

What a marvelous and inspiring post! Yes, as tough as it sometimes, life's detours have some wonderful outcomes.

Thanks for stopping by, I love making a new "blogging buddy."

Blessings to you!

Cindy said...

Aren't you glad you followed through on this? I agree with Marla in that we never know what God has planned. I know this woman was blessed by your visit.

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